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Am-Tech DIY Tips: How To Easily Remove Paint From Clothes
When you’re doing a spot of decorating, you will soon find that the paint doesn’t stay neatly on your walls! Spots and splashes will soon be flying everywhere, while you spend more time making sure paint doesn’t end up somewhere it shouldn’t than actually decorating!
As a result, most painting jobs will end up with your clothes covered in drips of whatever colour you’ve decided the living room should be. This isn’t usually a problem for most of us, as we know to wear old clothes when performing most DIY jobs; especially those that are likely to get messy!
However, the danger is that you will need to touch up a spot on the wall, or perform a similarly tiny painting job, and not bother getting changed for it. After all, it’s only a two-minute job – it’ll take longer to change than to do the painting!
No sooner have you decided to do this than a huge glob of paint falls straight down the front of your shirt! Disaster! Luckily, there are some options available to you to get errant paint out of your clothes.
The type of paint and the garment material will determine what actions you will need to take. Water based emulsion or gloss will be relatively straight forward, but spirit based products, paints/varnishes or stains will be much harder to remove.
Man-made synthetic fabrics will be far easier to clean the paint off than natural fibres such as wool or cotton. Also check the wash care instructions as some fabrics can only be dry cleaned.
For water based paints;
Remove the excess paint
The first step is to get as much of the paint off your clothes before it soaks in and dries. Immediately take a piece of cardboard or something similar and scrape off the excess. Do not be tempted to use kitchen roll or a sponge! It will not absorb the paint, so you’ll only end up spreading it around your clothes.
Once you have done that, if the paint is water based, then immediately rinse the affected piece of clothing under a running tap. This will flush a good portion of the paint out of the fabric. Make sure this flushed-out paint doesn’t end up on another part of the clothing, as it can still stain!
Use a bit of soap
You should be left with a much fainter patch of paint, which of course will still stain your favourite shirt! To get this out, you should start with a mixture of equal parts warm water and washing-up liquid.
Use a sponge and try to scrub the paint off. This should have an effect, but it might take a bit of elbow grease. If this doesn’t seem to be working, you can use an old toothbrush. However, don’t scrub too hard if you are using anything with bristles! This can cause damage to the garment as well.
You should now be able to wash the item of clothing as normal. For a bit of extra help, you can treat it with standard stain remover. Then put it in the washing machine, which hopefully will get the last of the paint out.
For spirit based paints or varnishes;
Remove the excess paint
Time is the most important step in how successful the cleaning will be, so don’t delay, do it straight away. The first step is to get as much of the paint off your clothes before it soaks in and dries. Immediately take a piece of cardboard or something similar and scrape off the excess. Do not be tempted to use kitchen roll or a sponge! It will not absorb the paint, so you’ll only end up spreading it around your clothes.
Once you have done that, use the paint manufacturer’s recommended cleaner solution – possible white spirit, turpentine or brush cleaner, then using a clean piece of cloth or paper apply some of the solution and carefully dab onto the paint area. This should remove most of the paint out of the fabric. Make sure this flushed-out paint doesn’t end up on another part of the clothing, as it can still stain!
If you have tried all of this and nothing works, you can resort to having the item professionally cleaned, but for spirit based paints once it has dried it cannot be reversed.
Depending on the material and how it has been dyed can depend on how successful your attempts at cleaning will be, but always be aware that solvents may leave a white residue having removed the paint marks, so do so at your own risk!
The caveat should be, if you cannot afford or don’t want to ruin an item of clothing or furnishing, consider how cheap a pair of disposable overalls an old set of clothes and decorating covers would be compared to a ruined garments or furnishings!
Cheap decorator’s cover sheets are available and should always be used to protect floor coverings such as carpet, tiles or laminates and soft furnishings.
For more DIY tips and tricks visit Am-Tech’s DIY Hub.
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